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"Rich people don't create jobs" - Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer

Via Business Insider: "As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don't actually create jobs...


"The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer's March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks "too politically controversial" for the site...".

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Irwin Schiff,

Peter Schiff's dad, succinctly destroys the consumer economy argument. Here is a speech he gave in 2001. The part I'm referring to is at about the 26:00 minute mark.


The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it

The rich definitely do under normal circumstances.

However, right now investment is being crowded out by government spending, so people are hoarding cash more than they otherwise would in the absence of the government "crowding".

But we're past the point of no return now, so if the government pulls the plug on the spending, people will still hoard cash due to the Potemkin economic village collapsing, until the government and market respect and make room for private investment again.

tasmlab's picture

This guys articles are dependably bad

And he gave one of the most shrill Peter Schiff interviews I've ever heard. Molyneaux has also refuted this guy.

He's different than the usual socialist in that he boasts of his own wealth/business creation. But I think the dude may have gotten lucky, his claim is as an angel investor to Amazon. I have no problem with this, but it makes him a devious critic of wealth creation IMO.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

there are only two sources of wealth--

land (food/shelter/paper) and minerals/resources (metals, precious gems)--

the sea . . . with fishing--

I'm not sure where that fits, because in the past the seas were open for anyone to fish--

and for anyone to plunder--

probably many of the great fortunes that built huge estates in England were built upon piracy--

who knows? Some surely were.


add labor to land and minerals--

I'm fitting timber (materials to build homes) into land--

and then there is mining for granite, etc.--

as well as minerals/metals.

The fact is that you have to have raw resources and labor--

put them together and you get REAL wealth--

anything else is . . . some kind of bunco game; to pretend otherwise is to be in denial--

most investments make money from cheap labor--

somewhere down the 'ladder' someone had to work for very little in order for someone 'higher up' to get rich--

some people figure out how to impel or coax other people how to work for almost nothing, so that those people 'smart' enough to do so can have wealth--

after many centuries of such a system being in place, most people forget where real wealth comes form--

resources. Those who own the resources can, ostensibly, get others to work for them for very little and get rich--

You can't eat paper, or at least it doesn't taste very good. You actually can't eat metal either, though most of the time it can 'buy' food--

the production of food is probably the most valuable thing of all; without food, people starve, even rich people--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--


He didn't have a very good explanation of how stealing from anyone is going to help anything. It's surprising that people still buy into the nebulous nonsense of "investing for all of us." But the audience seemed to like it.

Demand is all that matters in

Demand is all that matters in a "real economy". In a false economy, like we haven in America, the demand is false because easy money distorts the normal human mechanism of exchanging value they have created for the value someone else created.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

true, true--

demand for food/shelter . . . clothing. Those are the basics.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Sensible free market

Sensible free market capitalists don't promote this "one percenter" nonsense.

Hopefully in his next TED Talk, Nick will explain

how consumers take any risk to start or grow a business, consumers precede producers, or the means consumers market themselves to be identified as a potential customer for any potential new good or service for that so called economic feedback loop to perform work.

lmao he is a keynes... he

lmao he is a keynes... he says a feedback loop between customers and the supplier... demand is all he is saying. If demand is what drives an economy then his economics is false. Savings and investing is what drives the economy

He speaks against Keynes here...


Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Hanauer is correct.

Trickle down economics is bunk science, much like Keynesian economics. This is one of the tools that is used to keep the false dichotomy popular. They trick people into believing this nonsense.
Thanks Chris, good post.


Hi analysis is accurate, but...

I think every Libertarian gets his conclusion is wrong...

The solution is not tax someone else. Its tax no one.

Protect your assets and profit from the greatest wealth transfer in history.

I agree that his analysis was correct. He just didn't

take it to its logical conclusion. Yes, job creation is not exclusively within the power of the rich. If a company hired a lot of people to make products for which there was no demand, the jobs would disappear. In saying that job creation was really a factor of this interplay between suppliers and a middle class, the implication is that people in the middle class have enough money to purchase what they need or want, that is, create demand... and that others will have the money to create the supply to meet that demand. So, don't tax either.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

It's not even that...

The real solution is to stop inflating the monetary supply faster than the population grows. It's to stop handing out newly created money to people who have privileges and connections. It's not about taxes--it's about what money is and what it is worth.

(I'm definitely not saying that tax policy has nothing to do with it. We'd all love zero taxes and I do believe in that too. What I'm saying is that it doesn't start and end with taxes. It starts and ends with increments of value.)

I would have banned this incompetent speaker too!

Hanauer has a twisted view of what makes an economy grow.

His argument is flawed, and comparable to the ridiculous argument /question. Which came first; 'The chicken ..or the egg'.

Our fore fathers understood the basic principles of economics,..which meant NO taxes for either side of this equation.

Yet Mr. Hanauer is applauded for his attempts to reinvent the 'tax wheel' by spewing-out his own formula of what is more important;'The Chicken or the Egg'.

www.SpiderWebbs.com (The only bookmark you'll ever need!)

TED still exists?

I thought they banned free speech?

Is this satire? I can't tell

Saying that consumers create jobs is like saying that the oak creates acorns because the squirrels eat them.

Jobs mean there is a demand for labor. There is always a demand for labor. It's just a question of what kind of labor we are talking about.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

I love it when TED bans talks. It increases awareness of them.

This guy made some interesting points. I'm just surprised he didn't at least admit that the rich like him have at least created jobs in China.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

"Created jobs in China"?

Something tells me the people working in those factories would rather be working at their old jobs - like growing food and providing for their families.


Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

I don't disagree with your point about the quality of life

for the Chinese. http://andywrasman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/chinese-worke...
But I don't think you can argue that rich people like the speaker haven't been creating jobs in China: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/lou.dobbs.tonight/popups/exp...

Btw, it's not just Chinese whom wealthy Americans create jobs for in China. Aside from those living & working in Hong Kong: "According to the Sixth National Population Census conducted in 2010, there are 71,493 Americans residing in Mainland China, the second largest single group of foreign nationals.[4] Americans have been coming to China for job opportunities since 1994.[5] In the late 2000s and early 2010s, a growing number of Americans in their 20s and 30s headed to China for employment, lured by its faster-growing economy and lower jobless rate.[6] Many of them do basic work such as teaching English, a service in demand from Chinese businesspeople and students and a growing number are arriving with skills and experience in computers, finance and other fields.[7]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_in_China It's an issue discussed in tech schools.

P.S. Although I don't think I often disagree with your values, I do sometimes disagree with your punctuation. :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I don't think the speaker has thought his premise completely

through. The ones ultimately responsible for creating jobs are the salesmen, and the customers when they act as salespeople via word-of-mouth advertising. Some people seek the simple life, but most don't have to be 'trained' by a consumerist society to want nice/better/more things.

I had a point - I can just tell...

Oh yeah, here it is. His solution is to increase taxes on rich people, but I don't see how that would directly benefit the people. A statist solution would be to enforce a minimum wage, but there are strong libertarian arguments against such. Ultimately it rests on an educated consumer to support companies that choose to pay a living wage.

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Yeah, I know. Question marks go inside the quotes, even if

the original quote wasn't a question. Gerp.

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Actually, that's what I thought, too.

If I'm reading this correctly, this grammarian seems to think there *are* exceptions. http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Oh hey - right the first time!

Almost earned a visit from this guy:


Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Not necessarily. But maybe.

The way you phrased it, it sounded like you were simply asking a question: What?! Created jobs in China? How could you say that? Or just, Created jobs in China? Of course, then you really wouldn't have needed quotation marks at all. On the other hand, it would appear (according to that lady anyway) that IF you were asking me about something I said (a *statement* I'd made that you wished to quote), then quotation marks would stay with what I'd said and the question mark would go outside - applying to the *question* you were asking: in other words, if you'd said something like, My dear mdefarge, with all due respect, how on earth could you say "created jobs in China"? But, you did not say all that! So would the rule still hold with a question you only assumed would be "understood?" I don't know. So, you may have still earned yourself a visit from CMPunk. Or not. I do hope you realize I wouldn't have brought it up except for your introducing us to the guy. Btw, separated at birth? :) http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/20...

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

It's hard for me to understand my own thought processes...

let alone explain them, sometimes, but I think what I meant was that we have been conditioned to think that jobs are great, that people really want to work. To some degree work is soul-satisfying, but for the most part people work for the tangible rewards. In China people working in factories are more slaves than employees. Their civilization got along just fine for 5000 years without the recent industrialization and all the 'opportunities' it has provided the citizens. The pharaoh of Egypt provided plenty of jobs to the Israelites but it was no benefit to them either.

Is he right? Is he wrong? I don't know. The video came up randomly on youtube, I clicked it, it was interesting, I brought it here suspecting it wouldn't fly so well. But at least we're talking and thinking.


Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

I do understand your point

I agree there are qualitative factors that need to be considered when comparing circumstances. And you don't need to convince *me* of non-tangible costs of industrialization. I guess where I might disagree with you, though, is that, well, to me it sounds kind of "parental" on your part. As deplorable as life in crowded cities might be in some ways, maybe Chinese YA's still consider themselves better off in a more modern environment vs. the conditions of rural poverty and perhaps olde-world customs they fled. But even if they would come to believe they were not better off, maybe they need to see that for themselves. But having said that...

just sticking with quantitative issues, here's a problem I have with all economic models I've seen discussed, including by Ron Paul. I think they're all *worthless* without defining, up front, "the domain." Capitalism operates w/in a system. If I'm a farmer and buy a car from you (my fellow community member), the way it's supposed to work is that, sooner or later, you and/or those you buy products from will buy some of my farm produce. How nice. We both end up with what we want or need! Except now, if I'm a farmer and buy a car from you, you might then buy your garlic from China and your tomatoes from Mexico. It's *still* a mutually beneficial system - for you and farmers in China a& Mexico, just not for me anymore. Ever see this? It makes me sick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvl5Gan69Wo

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Message read and received. Video viewed.

Too drunk to offer a cogent response at this time.

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.